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Month: February 2016

Massive Representation : VP’s for the Trump-meister

Massive Representation : VP’s for the Trump-meister

A few disclaimers from the writer – This was written on a Saturday morning pre sustenance of any sort after a night of casual drinking. He did not put research of any kind into this, just observations and that which he already knows or believes to be true. He hasn’t the faintest idea of which party he’s registered to, and looks forward to the coming general election as much as kissing girls with halitosis.

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The current presidential race, GOP specific, is (as ever) historic. This might be interpreted in many a way. There’s the “never been more clear” buying of candidates by Franklin’s wrinkly face in the interests of men behind curtains, Twitter’s highjacking the conscience of 50+ year olds at rates I previously assumed fantastical, and of course, our push into a full bore United States of Broadcast Television.

Donald Trump, like it or not, is going to be the GOP candidate. Part of me believes this is a good thing, because the old hats of the Republican party (or the party system in general) have done reprehensible damage to this country. This is something that Trump must inherently understand, for he is not blind, he is not stupid, and he surely sees the force with which his word swells have morphed into humanoid tornadoes of bigotry and its recognition spanning sea to shining sea. This most likely would not be happening had men like the Koch brothers made even a sloths attempt at getting back in touch with reality over the last two decades.

These are the types of men backing whatever it is the Republican party’s modern iteration has, ever confusedly, become. Types of men who, on one pole, poured hundreds of millions of dollars into a fading family dream. On the other, assumed the approval of minority interest thought to be swallowed whole by Obamanation for the previous two election cycles. This is the painfully fucking awkward, kind of guy you could see peeing his pants on the mound, atrocity of debate rhetoric Jeb Bush. Side by side with a freshman senator, child of immigrants, all signs point to in over his head Marco Rubio. These set in stone strategies, to me, serve as the best proof we’ve ever had that the GOP has crumbled from within. I’d say this is good news for Trump, but he seems to be the catalyst. And for those feeling the ‘Bern suddenly shaking in their boots at the increasing likelihood of America’s least personable woman stuffing the left’s savior candidate in a locker, do not fret over the Donald. Complaining about one thing is so the same as complaining about the other, like you’d really fucking prefer Ted Cruz to this shit.

In any event, American citizens are surrounded by…something. Insofar as Mr. Trump goes, this warrants a serious discussion on whom he’s going to tag as his running mate. Even the (potential) healthiest president of all time needs a security blanket or, someone else to flub lips amidst all the winning.


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5.

Sheriff Cooley – O Brother, Where Art Thou

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If Mexico is actually going to pay for the wall while ISIS simultaneously has its head cut off and oil ripped from certain cold, dead hands, this ever hatable law enforcement figure could be the way to go. Managing to track down George Clooney with nothing but a band of serially inept henchmen, good ‘ol dogs, and a trail of early fashion hair gel isn’t anything to scoff at. He seems to have a habit of losing the prize via unfortunate location at the time of a natural disaster – but he strikes me as the type of man who can really get behind China’s invention of global warming to chop the knees out from under U.S. manufacturing. So, fuck it. He’s reminiscent of laughing at Ray Lewis’s dumb ass fur hats over the Monday night broadcast, then realizing none of the nerds in the production booth are going to tell him to take it off.

4. 

Blue Man Group

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Look at them, curious, insightful, morally and sexually ambiguous. No, I don’t care that they have “man” in the stage name, it’s 2016 you asshole, for all we know they’re showing up to the venue in dresses ripping shots to a Sporty Spice chorus. I may be in the minority here, but I’m not sure what it is exactly Trump is trying to represent — I feel the same about the blue man group. Where are the certainties? They’re both world traveler circus performers who’s natural beauty is aaaaaabsolutely not the power behind them getting laid.

3.

Every mother on Toddlers and Tiaras, ever.

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Brash, unapologetic, and certainly not concerned with forms of lower intelligence like spelling and grammatical correctness. Perfect backbone for a guy who would probably date his daughter if she wasn’t his daughter.

2.

Shaq era Kobe.

76ers v Lakers X

The 2000’s, pretty times, pretty times. He still wore a single digit, publicly embarrassed everyone in French, and ran his costar out of town only to get diss-tracked afterward. See that fucking smirk? He probably just jumped backwards over Allen Iverson and dunked it with his foot while making a joke about maxed out credit lines. A pretty logical rape charge couldn’t even bring the guy down, only lost the Nutella sponsorship. I redact my initial post on this site – Shaq era Kobe is the antihero, not Kanye.

1.

Yoko Ono

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Few people on this planet as famous as Trump, the old Beatle crusher just might be one of ’em. She’s a woman, who Trump loves. Granted, she’s got the Asian thing going against her, but breaking up America’s biggest threat to rock supremacy (given his tune choice at campaign rallies) most likely gives her the pass. If you shouldn’t hate what you don’t understand, there’s no better candidate to take temporary measures while we figure out “what the hell is going on” than this pretty bird.

 

Honorable Mention

Eric Cartman

What should be fairly obvious reasons.

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Pack a Bag and Grow

Pack a Bag and Grow

In the summer of 2015, Dominic traveled to 20 countries in Europe in an attempt to find his purpose. He outlined the highs, the lows, and the logistics of taking such a trip in his first piece for The Open Field. See the recap video after the jump. 


 

I try my best to go to bed every weeknight before 10 to get my 6 hours. I always hope to dream sweet, but sometimes, my mind gets seized by nightmares. I think the worst type of nightmare involves paralysis, when someone is chasing you and you feel like you can’t move. I usually wake up sweating as the feeling of helplessness begins to fade. It’s like when a car’s wheels spin and the car doesn’t go anywhere. At some point in their post-teen, pre-thirty era, every 20 year old feels like their wheels are spinning, lacking purpose, direction, and a plan. Maybe you are in your last semester of school, a recent college graduate working a dead-end job, or an introverted complacent agoraphobe who has always followed their parents’ plan. The “what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-with-my-life-feeling” is more common than you think. Rather than wasting a decade trying to figure it out, I bought a one-way ticket to Europe in search of some answers.

Before I continue, I need to make one thing known. Traveling forever altered the course of my life. It helped me figure out what I want to have, what I want to do, and who I want to become, developing a vision for my future. Every time I close my eyes and reminisce, I fight tears back because for the first time, I was truly happy. I was 100% free, vulnerable, open, and present. With all that being said, I know I am not you. Our lives have had a completely different set of circumstances that have molded us into who we are today. But, just like you, my wheels were spinning, and I was looking for answers that no person could provide. Deciding to leave America and live out of a backpack was the best decision I ever made.

I currently work as a haberdasher in Boston’s Financial District, making custom clothing for some of the busiest gentlemen in the city. Part of my job includes overturning objections, which every sales professional needs to master in order to be successful. Besides physical inability to move, there is only one legitimate reason why you cannot travel: money.

We live in the United States of America. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I forget how lucky I am. All of us have the opportunity to write our own check and control our financial destiny. I will more than likely, work, in America, for the rest of my life. I will also, without a doubt, play, all around the world, until the day I die. If you can’t afford to travel the world, find a job, save, then travel the world. If that doesn’t seem to work, then find a second job, save double, and then travel the world. For those who think this is impossible, I have one question for you: how will you spend your 24 hours tomorrow?

And for those Millennials who have allowed me to plant a seed in their mind, I have some questions that may make it grow. Would you live below your means for a couple months if you knew it would allow you to sit crisscross applesauce in dew-soaked Parisian grass with a cheap bottle of wine whose name you cannot pronounce, gazing at the sparkling Eiffel Tower lighting up the night? Or weave in and out of traffic at over 100 mph, heading south on the Autobahn with no destination in sight? What about run your left palm along the blood-soaked limestone walls of the Coliseum. Or fall out of a plane at 20,000 feet, plummeting towards the snowcapped Swiss Alps with your eyes open so wide that you feel like your eye balls are going to fall out of your head and win the race back to earth?

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There are 24 hours 1440 minutes 86,400 seconds in one day. I think it’s safe to say that there is no guarantee that you and I are going to wake up tomorrow or even make it all the way through today. I don’t mean to interrogate you, but what if life happens sooner than you think? You know, career, marriage, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. What if you wake up one morning and realize, out of the 7.4 billion people in the 196 countries in the world, you’ve only seen one culture, heard one language, tasted one cuisine?

I truly believe there is nothing worse in this world than regret. Yes, I do to remember college, and high school, like it was yesterday. But in reality, it was years ago, almost a decade in the past. Time flies. Don’t forget, you’re going to be old, wrinkly, and gray sooner than you think. All you will have is a mature mind covered by a shiny skull with a couple go-to stories. Will your grandchildren stare at you with big, open eyes, almost falling off the edge of their seats, as you tell them about the time you found their great-grandfather’s birth certificate in a squeaky, rusty, filing cabinet in the town hall of the little mountain village where he grew up? Or will you just slowly rock, back and forth, in your hardwood chair, masking regret with a never-ending sequence of subtle sighs?

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So maybe that seed is beginning to sprout, but the fear of the unknown is preventing it from growing. Once I explain how easy it is to travel around Europe, that sprouting seed will bloom into rows of vibrant colored tulips that run as far as the eye can see.

The first step is buying a one-way flight to England through Wow Air. My flight there was under $300! I highly recommend flying into London because it is one of the cheapest cities to arrive in from America and there is a smooth transition from American to English culture. I do not believe in the use of travel agents. If you do your homework and ask the locals and fellow travels about about where to go and what to do, you will find your way just fine. Make sure to purchase an unlimited Eurail Global pass, which grants you the freedom to travel to and from 28 European countries by train. My three month continuous pass was $1,200. Sometimes flying will save you time, and Ryanair provides one-way flights within the European Union for as low as $20.

Always remember that everything happens for a reason, especially when you are traveling. If you miss a train and have to wait five hours in the middle-of-nowhere-France because the conductor didn’t let you on because you were American, don’t punch the train door as it departs and scream FUCKKKKK at the top of your lungs because if you didn’t miss that train, you would have never been picked up hitchhiking by your new French girlfriend. Don’t forget to pack a journal, so you can write about the time you kicked the chair out from under the feet of the 6’4″, 300 lbs. Croatian mob-owned club bouncer and woke up on the side walk with no shoes in front of the police station without getting robbed.

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The last paragraph probably shouldn’t be followed up by this sentence, but I highly recommend you travel alone. In all seriousness, traveling solo forces you to interact with strangers, which automatically increases the number of international friends you make. It gives you many opportunities to reflect on the past and dream about your future. Also, your time is maximized and you will finally know what freedom feels like. Remember that rediciously good-looking French guy named Christophe who picked up Jenny’s coca cola in the train station in the movie EuroTrip? Yes, he exists. And when you do meet him while traveling alone, you can run off and temporarily fall in love, guilt-free. Spoiler alert: Matt Damon sings “Scotty Doesn’t Know” in one of the first scenes of EuroTrip. Oh ya, you must watch EuroTrip, Hostel, and National Lampoon’s European Vacation before you go. Thank me later.

Let’s quickly talk about two basic survival needs, food and water. Breakfast can consist of an espresso and pastry. Any type of meat, cheese, and bread combination will suffice for lunch. Make some local friends while exploring during the day for a chance to eat for free at night. After locking eyes, smiling, and suggesting a person take the bottom bunk, maybe they will pick you up at the train station in their home country, let you race their car on the Autobahn, refuse to let you buy any of the beer or wine, cook you a proper traditional meal, and then suggest a bubble bath. If you are on a budget, your best bet is to eat food from the grocery store. When you do decide to eat out, I suggest asking at least five locals where you should eat, and then go with whatever spot is most recommended. I drank tap water in every single country except Greece and survived, so you should too.

I cannot stress this enough: stay at hostels. I met some of the greatest people in the world at hostels. Some of these people have turned into friends that I still talk to this day. We explored, partied, laughed, cried, and pondered. If you meet someone interesting, become their Facebook friend, and I guarantee, you will meet again. If you didn’t stay in that party hostel, then you never would have met that amazing Australian couple from Sydney who are giving you their house keys when you visit in the fall. There are dozens of reasonably priced hostels in every European city ranging from $5-$30 a night. They are safe and some offer free breakfast and dinner. They also provide maps, walking tours, and advice on the best sites to see, places to eat/drink, and things to do. I strictly used the Hostelworld app on my iPhone to book rooms and did so a day or so in advance. There is something magical about sleeping in the same room as different people from around the world. Don’t forget to always take the bottom bunk!

You can pay for coin laundry if you’d like, but I recommend washing your clothes in the sink. It is cheaper and there is something humbling about cleaning dirty underwear by hand. New clothes can be purchased at thrift stores for next to nothing. Prepare to find some hidden gems like the sleeveless turtleneck I found in Budapest. I’m still trying to figure out the purpose of a sleeveless turtleneck and when I do, I will certainly let you know. I do recommend buying earth-tone and blue-based clothing as it provides some versatility in your rather limited traveling wardrobe. I’d rather have wrinkles in my clothes than regrets in my life.

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You do not need a phone plan in Europe and I highly recommend against it. Almost every hostel and McDonalds have free WIFI that is easily accessible. I knowww, you probably cringe at the thought of leaving your phone in your pocket for more than a minute and think I am crazy. Well I am, but, you’re insane if you’d rather look down at your two-dimensional cell phone screen than watch the burnt orange sun disappear over the sparkling Aegean Sea with your two feet lifelessly dangling off of a stone rooftop in Santorini. Please invest in a GoPro and take too many pictures and videos to document your entire journey. This was one of the best investments I have ever made and the video below is proof.

I think when you are about halfway through your adventure, it is a good time to start thinking about how you will get home. Flight prices change daily and vary between cities, so check the Kayak app every couple days. Trust me when I say, you will know when the time is right to purchase your ticket home. For some, this day will never come.

So you’ve just traveled around the world! You’ve made new friends from different continents and now have enough stories to write a blog influencing others to do the same exact thing. You are probably wondering how much money you spent. This is circumstantial based on what countries you traveled to and what activities you chose to do. For example, skydiving in Interlaken will be more expensive than a free walking tour through Prague. Eastern Europe is typically more expensive than Western Europe. How do you plan on living? Will you live on a poor man’s diet and wash it down with a cheap local brew or will you eat out at restaurants every night and sip martinis? I ate like a peasant and partied like a king and highly recommend you do the same.

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If you save 12k, you can see absolutely every site, do any adrenaline packed activity, and live well for three months. This breaks down to about 4k a month, $1,000 a week, and under $150 a day. Europe can certainly be done on a more modest budget, but this projection will allow you to see and do everything you desire for 90 days.

My question for you is why will you travel? Will you do it to see the world? To finally find yourself? To better understand foreign cultures? Maybe to party every night? To become the best version of yourself? Or maybe you go because you now know that if you don’t, life will happen and you will regret not traveling until the day you die.

If your wheels are spinning and your dreams have made that sprouting seed of wanderlust blossom, then choose your destination today. Dream tonight, start saving tomorrow, and go, alone, and never look back.

I now know the power of travel and how much it can impact your life. I want you to experience the feelings of happiness, freedom, and vulnerability, that helped me grow as an individual, develop an identity, and create a vision for my life. I promise to do everything in my power to help make your dream trip become a reality. I encourage you to email me at dominicroberto1@gmail.com with any questions or comments. I look forward to sharing a conversation.

The more I travel, the more I realize that money is simply fuel, pockets are gas tanks, and your body is a vehicle manufactured by God, designed to collect miles of memories, not objects.

end paragraph 16.2

 

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Here is to the three months, 20 countries, and hundreds of people that forever changed my life. Thank you #GoPro

Posted by Dominic Roberto on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

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Why Byron Scott should win NBA Coach of the Year

Why Byron Scott should win NBA Coach of the Year

The 2015/2016 Los Angeles Lakers really are not good at winning basketball games. However, the narrative among media members and fans stays consistently away from on-court performance, and instead toward the retirement of Kobe Bryant.  This article explains how head coach Byron Scott has kept the Lakers in the perfect situation, profitable and putrid, for the future of the organization.


 

The NBA Coach of the Year is a prestigious honor given out to the head coach who, according to a panel of voters, did the best job with his team for that current season. Some years, it is given to the coach of the team who won the most games during that season. Other times, like last season, it is given to a coach who achieved the most with a team that maybe exceeded expectations (Mike Budenholzer with the Atlanta Hawks). Nonetheless, this honor is usually bestowed on a coach who does an exemplary job on and off the court. Possible candidates this year include Terry Stotts in Portland, Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and Rick Carlisle in Dallas. All three of those coaches have done a tremendous job in putting their team in the best position to succeed, both on the court this season and in the future.

I am writing this as an official case for Byron Scott, head coach of the 2015-2016 Los Angeles Lakers, to win coach of the year this season.

 

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First thing you are probably thinking, “Hey idiot, the Lakers freakin’ suck.”

Let me save you the time and energy of looking up the ugly statistics to support your claim. The Lakers are, as of Thursday, 11-48, sitting dead last in the NBA Western Conference. They are a full 4 games behind the next worst team (Phoenix), 18.5 games out of the playoffs, and 41.5 games behind the Warriors. According to ESPN, the Lakers are -9.5 average point differential per game, which would be dead last if Sam Hinkie didn’t exist. They currently hold the second worst record in the entire NBA. Only the Philadelphia 76ers who OPENLY PROCLAIM TO BE LOSING ON PURPOSE (#process), have fewer wins this season.

So, with all that being said, one would imagine the Lakers are struggling both on and off the court this season. Which, in most other seasons, might seem a rational thought. However, the statistics point to quite the contrary being true.

The Lakers are currently tied for 1st in the NBA in overall attendance according to ESPN.  They are tied with the Golden State Warriors, who if you have not noticed, don’t suck. The Lakers lead the league in road attendance, even ahead of Curry and co., and according to this snapshot from the Chicago Sun Times about NBA ticket prices, have quite an expensive ticket.

“The Warriors are tops in the league with an average ticket price of $238, followed by the Lakers ($200), Knicks ($149) and Bulls ($129).”

This is due in large part to Kobe Bryant announcing his retirement at seasons end. Fans of Kobe reside in each city and state across the country, and everyone is forking over hard earned cash to watch him for one last time whenever the Lakers play a road game. The Lakers are a hot ticket, and business could not be better. They have the second most expensive ticket on average in the NBA, and lead the league in attendance. Did I mention that they have the second worst record in the entire NBA? People are actually paying to see this team lose games.

 

BKN-NBA-FINAL-LAKERS-MAGIC...Los Angeles Lakers fans celebrate outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles after their team defeated the Orlando Magic in the NBA final on June 14, 2009.  The Lakers won the series 4-1             AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers fans  outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles 

When a team sucks in the NBA, they have a few ways to improve. The first of which is trading players for better players, a tradition in sport since the first sucky team that ever existed, probably. The only business they did trade-wise was the acquisition of Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers on July 9th, 2015, in exchange for a future second round pick. Roy is currently averaging totals of 9.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, which is not that far from what the future second round pick was contributing.

Another way to improve is the acquisition of free agents. This season, Byron Scott signed a few free agents to help his cause. He signed Metta World Peace, Robert Upshaw, and world-beater Marcelo Huertas in September of 2015. He signed Lou Williams in July, and Jonathan Holmes in August.

Out of those 5 signings, the only legitimate NBA player is Lou Williams, who is currently averaging a career best 15.6 PPG with this Lakers team. A nice piece, but not enough to take a losing team out of the cellar.

Last way to improve a team in the modern day NBA is the Draft. That is where the case for Byron Scott as the Coach of the Year really begins.


In 2012, the Lakers traded their 2015 pick to the Phoenix Suns for the corpse of Steve Nash (top 5 protected). Phoenix then traded that pick to the 76ers in exchange for Brandon Knight. Now, when the Lakers got second in the NBA lottery last season, and they retained that top 5 pick, turning it into a 2016 pick for the 76ers, with reduced protection. This year, if the Lakers do not end up with the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd selection in the draft, they lose the pick to Philadelphia. That would be devastating to a team looking to rebuild, as Los Angeles is.

That’s what makes Byron Scott so masterful. The Lakers, as stated above, hold the second worst record in the entire NBA. When you look at the roster they have, it should not be that way. DeAngelo Russell is a young and exciting prospect, who compliments Jordan Clarkson in the backcourt well. Julius Randle is another high draft pick with great upside they can pair alongside perennial NBA rim protector Roy Hibbert to form a formidable frontcourt. Lou Williams was the 6th man of the Year last year in the NBA, and can flat out score the ball. Nick Young is a weird dude, but should be able to provide an offensive spark when needed. Even a guy like Larry Nance Jr. has turned heads this season as a player to possibly watch for in the future.

This team, if playing to full potential, does not make the playoffs in the NBA Wild Western Conference. That is probably safe to assume. So, logistically speaking, the best course of action for the future of the Lakers is to forfeit the season, finish within the bottom 3, and keep the high draft pick. The salary cap jump in the NBA this offseason, coupled with the Lakers selecting in the top 3 of the draft, would leave them with $57 million in cap space and a new exciting prospect. This offseason, players like Kevin Durant, Al Horford, and Demar Derozan become free agents, and LA is a very sexy destination for a superstar.

This season, if playing to full potential, this team is also not one of the 3 worst in the NBA. That is probably safe to assume. So, why are they this bad?

Byron Scott is pulling off one of the greatest coaching maneuvers in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers, and should be commended for it. His ability to shatter the mental psyche of D’Angelo Russell, give 17 minutes per game to Ron Fucking Artest in the 2016 NBA without question, and smooth over the fan base with a calming and reassuring presence only Byron Scott can pull off. He has repeatedly taken the focus off the court by pushing the Kobe storyline.

That is probably the most intriguing thing Byron has done this season. Mentioned above was the Lakers average ticket cost ($200), and the fact that they are tops in the league in terms of overall attendance. Make no mistake, this is ONLY possible if you have a coach who can smooth over public perception. Byron Scott is a masterful speaker, and a very intelligent mind. If you talk to ANY Laker fan in the Los Angeles area they are not concerned with current results, but instead, happy that Kobe is playing and they get to “see him one last time”. Byron has twisted the narrative so far away from on court product that fans are actually SATISFIED spending $200+ to see their team lose in every way imaginable.

Dec 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) laughs with head coach Byron Scott during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 100-94. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In the LA area, sport is more an entertainment piece than a game. The fans care more about going to the game than winning the game. That is what has allowed Byron Scott to pull this off. In most NBA driven cities the coach would be held accountable for questionable late game lineup choices, allowing a retiring and distant superstar to shoot 35% on 17 shots a night (an AVERAGE Kobe game this season is 6/17), and I cannot stress this enough HE GIVES METTA WORLD PIECE 17 MINUTES A NIGHT! WHAT!?!?

He is the perfect coach, in the perfect city, with the perfect task. Be cool, optimistic, and sentimental about this Lakers season, keep everyone calm and content, and lose a fuck ton of games.

If Byron Scott keeps the Lakers in the bottom 2 records in the NBA and keeps their lottery pick, he should win coach of the year. If the criteria for the award is based on the premise of doing the best job of coaching your team to success, which you could argue Mike Budenholzer did last season in putting the Hawks into relevancy in the Eastern Conference, Byron is by far the best candidate. This franchise, in all its futility, should be commended for its ability to spray perfume on a flaming pile of shit.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you Byron Scott, your 2015-2016 NBA Coach of the Year.

 

 

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100% Not Guilty – Episode 4 Recap

100% Not Guilty – Episode 4 Recap

Episode four of The People vs. O.J. Simpson introduced us to what I am officially calling “The Marcia Clark and Johnnie Cochran Show.”  But before we get there, let us stop and reminisce about O.J.’s long-lost days of clubbing, where he did cocaine off of females’ chests and eventually met Nicole Brown.

This show giveth, and this show taketh away.

I kid about the wacky Studio 54-ish opening scene about Simpson in the nightclub because I am into the show for different reasons, but this side of the story has to be told.  One sub-plot of this episode was Brown’s old friend, Faye Resnick, pitching her “book” to a couple apparent ghost writers, in which we learn about the Simpson’s ex-wife and her wild side.  The fact that O.J.’s wife was running around Los Angeles handing out “Brentwood Hellos” is the creepiest and most outrageous thing about this whole story, which did I mention includes a double homicide?  I have no idea how much truth was behind Resnick’s wild tales, but telling Larry King you wrote your book for battered women everywhere and then plastering the pages with drug-infused sex romps is not a good look.

I also will not go into O.J. in this episode because really he does not even need a part anymore.  Just keep Cuba quiet until it is time to put the leather gloves on and I will be happy.  He asked his attorneys about the holidays… when can I leave because I missed Halloween with my kids…  That is some Making a Murderer level of stupidity that I have a difficult time believing came out of O.J.’s mouth.


 

Now to the serious stuff.  Some of the smaller plotlines that I mentioned seemed to be poking their head out now as the story develops: I was intrigued by both Judge Ito’s wife taking pause about Mark Fuhrman’s name on the “Conflicts” sheet before signing off that she had none (apparently the judge’s wife is a Captain in the LAPD, because this story was not f’ed up enough).  Also, as I mentioned in my last story, I am excited about the role Chris Darden is going to be playing. He has officially joined the prosecution now, and yes, the sole reason is because they needed a “black guy”.

That was a lot of this episode – finding the “black guy/girl” to play a role.  The attorneys were puppet masters throughout the hour and fifteen minutes, orchestrating voir dire to find the perfect “Downtown Jury” (hint: that means a lot of black people) to sit in on this trial.  As I previously mentioned last week, the jury ends up having nine black jurors, and we see how that happened here.  Johnnie Cochran has taken the reins as Simpson’s lead attorney and launched a covert attack through the press to make it look like Clark and her team were intentionally blocking black people from serving.  Regardless of how much truth was behind that, it certainly could not have hurt the prosecution to try.  Clearly the black population was more sympathetic to Simpson, calling Brown a “gold digger”.  I won’t spoil it for you, but you’ll be surprised by how the jury rules in this one…GASP.
people-v-oj-simpson-spoilers

The racial divide is blatant and unapologetic throughout the entire episode, and I imagine it will be like this for the entire season now.  The jury focus group which we witness for a solid chunk of the show (which apparently was very true to actual events according to the book that this is based off of) separates both race and gender, and it shows how each demographic felt about a character in the trial.  Obviously, we see Clark get buried – surprisingly by black women.  Black women somehow received an, almost unfair, mis-characterization throughout the jury selection process, as everyone seemed to assume that they hated black men.  I do not understand it, and I’m not so sure I want to even begin to try.  But it is intriguing to find out the things you can learn from a jury focus group.

There was also an interesting gender stereotype laced throughout the episode with Marcia Clark’s appearance to potential jurors.  And despite this taking place in 1994, the same stereotype is ever-present today.  The courtroom is a very conservative atmosphere.  It probably always will be.  The law is always slow to move and very set in its ways.  So telling a woman that she should switch from pants suits to skirts is not out of the ordinary – we spent thirty minutes of a class in school last year having this exact same discussion.

Skirt as opposed to pants; stud earrings instead of hanging; make sure your hair is “not too big”; keep your collar close to your neck.

Women face an incredibly unfair disadvantage when it comes to appearance in the courtroom, so it is not surprising, but still all the more troubling to hear someone in 1994 tell Clark all of these things.  Image is important – especially to the jurors.  Unfortunately, if looking like a meek, deferential attorney in the eyes of the court gains more respect, then some lawyers will do it.  I hate it – Marcia Clark is a total bad ass throughout this show thus far and I’m hoping we don’t see it change now.

Johnnie Cochran’s character is really coming into his own as well.  Courtney B. Vance has been brilliant in capturing that gospel-ly, lecturing way that Cochran spoke without coming across as jerk, and if the bump in Cochran’s screen time means less John Travolta then hey, I ain’t complaining.  I think I saw Travolta’s eye brow move last night at one point.  His character, Robert Shapiro, loses out on the lead attorney position on Simpson’s dream team and we get our second F-bomb of the series.  Big-time stuff for FX.  But seriously – if you think you can keep your job as lead attorney by telling your client: “Hey man, I’m really thinking that you should just say you did – plead to manslaughter and let’s go home.  Alright I’m catching a flight to Hawaii, see ya!” then you deserve a demotion.

So now trial is set to begin.  We have had our hearings, we have argued over one hair sample presented as an exhibit, or 100 hairs.  I cannot believe that was a real argument on screen – most likely did not turn out that way with a random objection but I don’t feel like researching how evidence motions were filed at the moment.  I hope, as a budding attorney, that I never end up with a jury pool of 900 potential jurors and 294 voir dire questions.  No way in hell am I trying to deal with that.  But the pool is set, O.J. has pleaded “100% not guilty” (cannot believe he actually said that), and episode five should be just as intense.

And because we began with the ridiculousness of episode four, perhaps we can end with some more ridiculousness – Kardashian’s got to stop saying “Juice”.

Five times in one night is too much for me.  Relax, Rob.  Call him O.J. like the rest of the world.  Catch you guys next week, if there is anyone even following along with me through this show… I may be talking to myself by now.

 

By Shaun @slough44

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Go – The Story of Me (Video Preview)

Go – The Story of Me (Video Preview)

Dominic is a feature writer for The Open Field, and in 2015 he traveled to 20 countries in an attempt to find himself. This video is a preview of the post coming on Saturday about that very trip. It was taken via a GoPro on Dominic’s trip, and is a magnificent representation of the type of person Dominic is, and how his trip shaped his personality. Enjoy this video, and be sure to check back on Saturday for a logistical and observational feature article, by Dominic himself.

 

 

Here is to the three months, 20 countries, and hundreds of people that forever changed my life. Thank you #GoPro

Posted by Dominic Roberto on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

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RoundTable: Happy Gilmore 20th Anniversary Edition

RoundTable: Happy Gilmore 20th Anniversary Edition

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Happy Gilmore. So, we here at The Open Field felt it was a perfect opportunity to all contribute to our first ever Roundtable Blog, which will be a staple on this site in the coming months. Below, you will find a small piece from each author about what Happy Gilmore meant to them 20 years ago, and still means to them today. 

 

JAKE- 

90% percent sure I’ve never seen the movie start to finish. Have I seen it all or at all? Doesn’t matter, dude’s been making the same flick forever. I guess there’s an argument to be had here about what Sandler’s “best” movie is, and given the popularity of Shooter Mcgavin’s Twitter account that’s probably pretty fair. That said, there’s just something about “Is that it, Dad? Did the penguin tell you to do this?” that screams all time greatness, never wanted to fuck with that thought process.

My own dad was a doctor, he missed the playing 18 lecture in med school so to that point the hockey stick – teeing off bit is hilarious regardless of context. It legitimately reminds me of myself on the green with or without the beers and with an actual club. I could do without the Bruins affiliation, but he does the accent soo well…like I said: the guys got FORMULA. On second thought, keep the B’s jersey, I couldn’t love anything more than the best comedic Boston accent of all time coming from a Brooklyn-ite.


BOB – 

On Why I Am I Better Match For Bob Barker Than Happy Was Or Ever Will Be

On the 20th Anniversary of this beautiful and generation-defining movie, there is really only one thing that matters – revisiting the Barker-Gilmore fight. Why? Because it’s time to face the facts: Bob Barker brings out the worst in men. And I, for one, would love to end him.

Let me pick apart the inadequacies in Mr. Barker’s fighting style right now and show the world once and for all that I could kick the shit out of a 92 year old in hand-to-hand-combat like our dear friend Happy was so woefully unable to.

First thing any seasoned warrior will notice is Bob’s punching stance. Left hand hangs a bit low when he starts tossing uppercuts with his right. Tssk. Bob, Bob, Bob. You really think you can leave Western Barkerfaceyllvania open like that and I’m not gonna paint it with precisely-placed jabs like a young Drago? For such a charming and respected man, you sure are ignorant.

From there it does get a bit tougher. I respect that Bob knows how to work an opponent. Body-body-head. Hands come down, hit the head, hands come up, hit the body. Work it Bob. I can appreciate that. But I can also assure you that my diligent routine of four v-sit pull-ups per week has left me with an impenetrable torso like Anhur, the Egyptian god of war. You hit this body, you hit a steel wall reinforced with a thin layer of fat primarily for storing heat during the cold Boston winters.

Oh now you’re gonna keep your hands way out wide? This isn’t Karate Kid, Bob. You are not and will never be Ralph Macchio. There is no crane stance to save you. You leave that sternum wide open, you better believe I’m channeling my inner high school wrestler and delivering a blast double the likes of which your sorry Tales-From-The-Crypt-Lookin’-Ass has never seen. I will sweep your leg, I will win this match with no honor, and I will take both Elisabeth Shue and Vanna White as my lawfully wedded wives, monogamy be damned.

Oh I’m sorry, you think I care you hosted WWE Raw in 2009? Let me counter that hypothetical question with another. You think I wouldn’t clean house on WWE Raw using a debilitating combination of Sicilian wits and egregious application of vaseline to my underwhelming body? Think again, Bob.

And, unlike Happy, I won’t make the same mistake as every movie protagonist ever (see Oberyn Martell and his squished head). I will never, and I mean never, stand over your motionless body and gloat. Happy may have delivered one of the iconic shit-talks of all time, but hubris kills. Instead, I will take two steps back and deliver six to seven decisive chops to your carotid artery. And because I always learn from others mistakes, I will light your pale, yet surprisingly lithe body on fire to ensure no post-mortem tomfoolery will occur.

It would be a pleasure to meet you on the field of battle, Bob. But know that, should our fates ever cross, I will end you.


SHAUN – 

Happy Gilmore has an endless amount of quotable lines, and it is one of the greatest sports-comedy films (maybe even sports films) ever.  It provides a hilarious blue collar slant to one of the stuffiest atmospheres in the world: a golf club.  All jokes aside, Shooter McGavin may be one of the best movie villains of all-time, and other than Caddyshack, I do not think any golf movie gets recited on the course more often by regular guys like you and I.  And of course the film also starred Julie Bowen, and she is just splendid!

While I could still tell you the first time I ever saw the film because it is that important to my low brow choice of film-watching (rainy vacation on Cape Cod, circa 2001), let us take a step back and look at it in the big picture of Adam Sandler’s seemingly endless career on film.  This dude sold his soul to the devil, because no one with his resume should have two decades of films.  But here we are.

In 1996, Sandler already had a name for himself thanks to Saturday Night Live and his solo comedy albums, but his career on the big screen was not much to stop and look at.  Looking back now, Billy Madison sits on the Mount Rushmore of Sandler movies alongside Happy Gilmore, but in 1995 it crashed pretty bad and was not well-received, even by Sandler standards (which are staggeringly low).

But following Happy Gilmore’s success in the box office, in which it debuted at #2 in its opening weekend, the film marked the blast-off point in Sandler’s film career and he has not looked back, amassing over $2 BILLION in box office sales since.  After Gilmore, Sandler rattled off The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Big Daddy, and Little Nicky all within the next few years – and all of which he wrote himself, along with Happy GilmoreLittle Nicky was also the first film Sandler starred in under his own production company, Happy Madison Productions.  The name of the company came from… well you guys are smart so I will leave that to you.

Say what you will about the guy – he barely seems like he is even trying on screen sometimes.  But he has been successful and he has found his niche.  I like the guy.  I’ll admit it.  It is hard not to.  And Happy Gilmore was the first glimpse I caught of him as a 10-year old kid who was just glad his parents were not paying attention enough to catch him watching this movie at the time.

The PGA even spent an entire day last week paying homage to the film’s 20th anniversary.  It has cemented itself as one of the hallmarks of comedy when it comes to the game of golf, and given the age of the new golfers on Tour when the film came out, its legacy is only going to grow.

And from now until I am too crippled to swing a golf club, whenever I miss a putt, or two, or sometimes three on the same hole, it is almost a guarantee that I am going to ask the golf ball if it was too good to go in its home.  Kind of crazy to imagine that we are devoting this much attention to such a crazy film but it was a staple of our childhood.  Happy 20th Birthday, Happy.

1


KILLIAN – 

Ben Stiler changed my perception of old people homes forever


MIKEY –

There’s enough humor above to take this a slightly different route, so I want to dedicate this space to shout out an unsung hero. The man responsible for making the movie everything it was 20 years ago, who did so by showing a lack of institutional control on par with Roger Goodell, but in alllllll the right ways. Fictional PGA Tour Director – “Doug”

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Doug, your inability to control any of the PGA Regulations that I KNOW were in place 20 years ago is why you are the MVP of this entire movie. Happy was literally fighting Bob Barker on national television and you suspended him like, a week. Shooter “Shooter” McGavin actually employed someone to follow Happy around and yell profanities during his back-swing. You’re either a moron or a god damn visionary allowing that to happen. In fact, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you allowed it by choice, in which case kudos to you brother. Without you, Shooter and Happy both become polarizing figures without a counterpart. Keeping them together, opposing each other so directly throughout the entire tour, in order to boost revenue and let integrity fall to the wayside, as most good leaders do. You set up the “Magic v Larry” the PGA needed during a very difficult period for viewership. You are probably the reason golf still exists today. Hats off to you Doug, for allowing the type of tomfoolery the PGA so desperately needed.

Oh, and also, a very serious tip of the cap to Happy Gilmore, Chubbs, Doug, Shooter, Bob, Julie Bowen and everyone involved in the movie that cemented itself as a transcendent masterpiece in the minds of everyone who has had the pleasure of enjoying it. We, here at The Open Field, salute your 20 years, and hope for another 100 to follow. Now, KICK HIM OFF THE TOUR DOUG!

Sandler-in-Happy-Gilmore-adam-sandler-19144458-800-600

 

You can follow us @TheOpenField_ on Twitter, and look for our most recent posts. We are also now on Facebook, at facebook.com/intoTheOpenField . Stay up to date, and drop me an email at mikeyfowler18@gmail.com if you want to get involved, or have any questions. Thanks for reading.

 

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Damian Lillard and Snubs – What Motivates an NBA Superstar?

Damian Lillard and Snubs – What Motivates an NBA Superstar?

To be an athlete at the highest possible level means to be scrutinized by just about everyone with a keyboard and a platform. Unless you are Steph Curry, you will more than likely find an article or two that outline, in very specific detail, what you are doing wrong each and every time you play. These daily report cards are often claimed to be ignored by athletes, and asking about their reaction to words written about them will warrant a “no comment” or “I did not see that” more often than not.

That’s all good if you want to ignore the fact that it’s complete bullshit.

Let’s talk about the NBA specifically. More specifically, let’s talk about Damian Lillard.  The Portland Trailblazer shooting guard had a career night last week when he scored 51 points against the aforementioned Curry and his Golden State Warriors en route to a commanding 137-104 victory. The 51 was a career high for the Weber State product, and prompted league-wide praise for his performance.

This game comes almost immediately following the All Star Break, which happened last weekend in Toronto. Damian Lillard, our boy, was not invited to partake in that All Star Game. Now, let me clear this up right away, this is not one of those articles proving why player XYZ did not deserve to be in the All Star Game, because there is too much talent league-wide to make that case.  Much to the contrary, this is an article about why Damian Lillard scored 51 points against America’s sweetheart, and the reasoning behind it.

lillard

When Lillard, or any player with an ounce of competitive spirit, is doubted or looked over, it evokes a natural human reaction of athletic rage. This player now feels as if they have something to prove. It lights a fire in places that may once have been filled with a sense of security in assuming the NBA fan-driven-world is in your corner.

Lillard was, to lay it out simply, pretty fuckin’ pissed off. So, what better platform for him to shove it back in the faces of the 78 billion (maybe an exaggeration) NBA fans who voted Kobe Bryant into the All Star Game in his final season, than the game the other night against Golden State. The WORLD watches every Golden State game, so the WORLD will see Damian Lillard kick the shit out of Curry and come to see what they did wrong in not selecting him. Lillard was mad at his public perception, so he played out of his mind on the biggest stage to prove that.

What motivates Lillard, as we see throughout his entire career, is people undervaluing him. He laces his shoes up every single night for you, guy with a blog who thinks you can’t build a title contender around him. He laces them up for you, head scout who passed on him in high school. And, don’t forget, he does it for you Dan Gilbert, who drafted Dion Waiters ahead of him.


Another interesting case of motivation is Rajon Rondo.  Being from Boston, I saw Rajon play a lot of games for the Celtics, and one of the common phrases that fans liked to use was “National TV Rondo” when talking about the enigmatic point guard. The title was used to describe, ahead of a game, the type of player we could expect playing point guard for us on any given day or night. The “National TV Rondo” was VERY different from the one we saw in locally broadcast games on obscure weeknight. Just look at this breakdown of his stats on national TV or on a random night given by Ryan Fortin of the Harvard Sports Analysis collective below.

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Now, while this may be a little different from the case of Damian Lillard’s explosion, the root point is the same. These guys like to be admired and appreciated for their work. When guys like Rajon Rondo know the world is watching, they put on a show. When Lillard has your attention, he’s going to play a different style of basketball.

rondo

I think this is important to remember when describing James Harden and the Houston Rockets this season as well. People are wondering, “What happened to the Rockets this season?” and understandably so. They went from a team who challenged for the Western Conference to a team in the lottery (outside the playoff picture at this moment) without losing any impact players. Now, while I do think the Rockets get into the playoffs, there is an important conversation to be had about this team.

As anyone who follows the NBA knows, your team takes on a certain personality as the season progresses. Sometimes the personality is a player. Look at Golden State and you see Draymond Green pulling the emotional strings.  Other times, coaches like Brad Stevens instill a certain tenacity you see reflected on the court. With Houston lacking a solid coaching influence, the task of building this team’s pulse rested on James Harden.

Last season, James Harden entered the NBA campaign fresh off his time spent with USA Basketball and Coach K. He came in fit, ready to play, and hungry. In my opinion, being in the gym with guys like Curry and, to an extent, Lebron James, really lit a fire under Harden and made him want to establish himself as a winner. He took his Houston team, and made it hungry. He became a superstar. He won over the public perception, became a staple of ADIDAS new advertising campaign, and was unanimously considered a star.

This offseason was spent with Khloe Kardashian and THAT family. Now, I am not assuming Harden was not in the gym. He is a professional basketball player. He probably worked on his physical game just as much.

I do believe his mindset shifted. He doesn’t have the Lillard haters right now. He gets his numbers, and is probably one of the best 3 shooting guards in the league. I just think he’s content being right there. No one is calling James Harden a loser, or overrated. No one is snubbing him from the All Star Game. Why does he even care what he does on any given night if it won’t change how you feel about him?harden

 


All of this was said to boil down to the main point. What motivates an NBA Superstar? I believe it is a very simple equation.

How Highly a Player Values Public Perception + Intrinsic Motivation to be a Champion = Performance 

While anyone with an imagination can write a thousand words on intrinsic motivation, I think the more important piece of that equation is just how much a player cares about how the public feels about him. This is not a season by season equation either, but more a game by game. Rajon Rondo came to play in games that he knew the public was watching, because he cared how he was portrayed. Damian Lillard came to play the other night because he feels cheated by the publics evaluation of him not being an all-star.

If you take a player who feels disrespected (Lillard the other night, Rondo on national TV, Harden before he was James Hard-ashian) and you put him on the basketball court, he will perform. If you foster your players in a safe environment where nothing really pisses them off, and they don’t mind getting checks to put up their predetermined statistics, you are building a loser.

So, next time you hear a player say that they don’t read the press about them just keep in the back of your mind what you know about that player’s personality. A guy like Damian Lillard, not even recruited hard out of high school (went to Weber State), got drafted after Dion Waiters, and did not make the All Star Game, is going to take it personal.

What motivates an NBA Superstar? Just disrespect one and find out.

 

by Mikey

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